Valley To Proceed On Akron Building Project

Tippecanoe Valley School Corp. will proceed with its Akron Elementary School building project.
During the Preliminary Determination Hearing on the project Monday night, the school board approved three resolutions allowing the $17.6 million project to move forward. 
The board also is going with the second concept previously presented by The Skillman Corp.
Victor Landfield, architect with the firm, said the concept includes demolishing the 1926, 1948, 1959 and 1965 additions; renovating the 1987 addition; constructing a new addition; improving site traffic; correcting site drainage; and expanding parking.
Renovations in the 1987 addition will include replacing roofing; refurbishing stucco; replacing flooring, walls, ceiling, plumbing fixtures and trim, lighting, fire alarms, bell and intercom system and HVAC equipment. There will be a new courtyard in the middle of the school so all classrooms have windows. The old gymnasium will be removed and a new one will be built, with the new gym, cafeteria and large group instruction room interconnected, he said.
“This is a really comprehensive project,” Landfield said.
Ice Miller, Indianapolis, is serving as the school corporation’s bond counsel for the project. Jane Herndon, with Ice Miller, presented the three resolutions for the school board to approve. The resolutions included The Project Resolution Notice, the Preliminary Determination Resolution and the Declaration of Official Intent to Reimburse Expenditures. 
Superintendent Brett Boggs presented a timeline of Valley’s facilities construction. Tippecanoe Valley was formed in 1962, and its last building project was the wind turbine in 2011 on the middle and high schools campus. 
“In a corporation our size, if you’re not continually working on something, you’ll get behind,” Boggs said.
He said the Akron building project started when the school corporation went through a strategic planning process in 2013. A committee looking at facilities recommended a preliminary facility assessment of Akron Elementary. Assessments were conducted and presented, with The Skillman Corp. presenting two concepts in August 2014. Public meetings on the concepts were presented Jan. 13 at Akron and Jan. 15 at Mentone, with a consensus of comments preferring the second concept. 
Chrissy Mills, Akron principal, presented the instructional and educational needs of the school, with the biggest need being more space in the building. 
Of the estimated $17.6 million construction cost, about $13.6 million of that is construction costs; $409,621 is estimated for 3 percent inflation; and $3.5 million is the estimated 25.1 percent soft costs. Landfield said, “$17.6 million is the maximum the project can be.”
He also presented a preliminary project schedule.
May 26 is the end of the 30-day petition period. According to Boggs after the meeting, if no remonstrance is filed with 100 valid signatures during the remonstration period, Valley will not have to have a referendum on the building project.
Architect selection will take place between May 26 and July 1. The design and construction documents will be completed between July 1 to Dec. 31. From Jan. 1 to March 16, the contract bidding and awarding will be done, with the contracting and mobilization taking place in April to May 2016. Phased construction would start in June 2016. In summer 2017, partial occupany of the new addition will take place, the existing building additions will be demolished and renovations to the 1987 addition will begin. The project is expected to be completed in December 2017.
Steve Meno, of Meno Accounting & Venture Services, talked about the financial aspects of the project. He presented slides which showed Valley’s debt eventually being paid off, so more debt can be added for the Akron Elementary project without any tax increases. The lease for the $17.6 million project will be for a maximum term of 21 years with a maximum annual lease rental of $1,618,000, with expected interest rates ranging from 1 to 5 percent and total interest costs of $10,475,212.
A time for public comments was provided, but no one from the public spoke.

(Story By The Times Union)